Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
Lourdes Salvador volunteers as a writer and social advocate for the recognition of multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). She was a passionate advocate for the homeless and worked with her local governor to provide services to the homeless through a new approach she created to end homelessness. That passion soon turned to advocacy and activism for people with MCS and the medical professionals who serve them. She co-founded MCS Awareness in 2005 and went on to found MCS America in 2006. She serves as a partner for Environmental Education Week, a partner for the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE), and a supporter for the American Cancer Society: Campaign for Smokefree Air.
Fibromyalgia Patients Have Altered Cerebral Blood Flow to the Brain
by Lourdes Salvador
Cerebral blood flow is altered in patients with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a disease process characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain, non-restorative sleep, fatigue, headache, morning stiffness, poor memory, difficulty concentrating, paresthesias (numbness and tingling) and overall impaired functioning in both social and occupational settings.
The severity of the pain is typically more constant than other forms of pain and may come and go rapidly, move around to various parts of the body, and worsen with touch. For example, some fibromyalgia patients find their own clothing against their skin painful, particularly if it is tight clothing.
Nuclear medicine utilizes SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography) technology to perform brain scans. This records brain functioning by measuring perfusion (blood flow). In patients with fibromyalgia, the greater alterations of blood flow have been linked to increased symptoms.
Patients with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) also have altered cerebral blood flow. A lower baseline flow of blood to the brain is common. When these patients are exposed to perfumes and petrochemicals, they develop further decreases in blood flow to the brain.
MCS is an acquired and progressive neurological disease induced by exposure to chemical and fragrance products.
MCS is often misinterpreted as or compared to asthma and allergies, which generally cause only temporary inconvenience and can be treated and reversed with antihistamines. In most cases, neither asthma nor allergies impacts the ability to live a relatively normal life.
However, people with MCS suffer progressive and cumulative harm, cognitive impairment, brain changes, and end organ damage with exposure to even small amounts of the seemingly innocuous chemical and fragrance substances in the air.
Those with chronic symptoms show long-term reduced blood flow to the brain and reduced ability of the brain to take up a tracer substance. This indicates a neurotoxic metabolic abnormality consistent with toxic environmental exposures to pesticides and other chemicals.
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2008 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America